Address Comino’s Blue Lagoon flight, Graffitti tells ministers

Environmental lobby group Graffitti has written to five ministers drawing attention to the “ecological disaster currently unfolding in Comino” and making six urgent demands.

The letter, sent to Ministers for Tourism, Environment, Gozo, Planning and Land – Clayton Bartolo, Miriam Dalli, Clint Camilleri, Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi and Silvio Schembri, respectively, highlights “the alarming state of Comino, a Natura 2000 site”.

Graffitti says that the disasters of previous years, especially during the summer season, are repeated.

“This ruinous state of affairs has destroyed the unique, precious and fragile natural state of the Comino Natura 2000 site,” he notes.

His urgent demands are:

1. Sunbeds and umbrellas should only be hired at the request of those physically present on the beach and should never occupy more than a stipulated percentage of the beach to ensure that access to and enjoyment of the bay and the foreshore are not disturbed by the public, in accordance with the law on the public domain. This number should be part of a policy document for Comino as recommended by ERA’s Comino Management Plan (2019).

2. The number of kiosks around the beach should be much more limited to avoid congestion and over-commercialization of the area and should be part of a policy document for Comino, also in accordance with the recommendations of the Comino management plan. There is an urgent need to ensure that kiosks sell drinks made from biodegradable material and that straws are also biodegradable.

3. All commercial activity around Blue Lagoon must operate on the basis of permits issued by the government which cover a financial contribution for the maintenance of the bay. Commercial operators who do not follow the established rules should have their licenses revoked.

4. The government must take urgent action to ensure proper maintenance and patrolling of Comino Island, including, but not limited to, distributing waste bins to appropriate areas and ensuring rangers have the power to apply the rules in place.

5. Urgently abolish music from noisy gazebos, boats and generators.

6. Urgently initiate work on a policy document for Comino that includes carrying capacity as recommended in the Comino management plan. This policy should prohibit large ferries from entering the Blue Lagoon and limit the number of ferries that can enter the bay daily.

Graffitti’s letter can be read in the pdf link below.

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